BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As the final hours of a truce wind down between Hamas fighters and the Israeli military, 4,100 Marylanders have sent letters to Capitol Hill to urge greater protection for Gaza civilians.
Alex DeMetrick reports it’s part of a nationwide push by an organization of Muslim-Americans.
A truce has given some semblance of normalcy to parts of the Gaza strip. Other areas are a long way from it, following weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel.
And in Baltimore, there’s a campaign by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. They’ve sent 26,000 letters nationally and 4,100 from Maryland to US senators.
“To essentially just ask them to place pressure on the Israeli government to protect the civilians of Gaza,” said Zainab Chaudry.
Images of casualties have played out across the world’s television screens.
“And to make sure our tax dollars aren’t being used to wage attacks against innocent civilians in Gaza,” Chaudry said.
Maryland Senator Ben Cardin will be sent that message—although early on in the conflict, he blamed Hamas tactics for civilian casualties, as Israel responded to missile attacks on Israel.
“They’re trying to protect the civilian population from missiles, whereas Hamas is using civilians to protect the missiles,” Cardin said.
Three civilians and 61 Israeli soldiers have died. In Gaza, nearly 2,000 have been killed—mostly civilians. The letters to Capitol Hill want the US to stop Israel from using US weapons in Gaza.
“American concussion bombs are being used to bomb their property. American missiles are fired aboard the American Apache and F-16. I think it’s criminal,” said Muhammed Jameel, Islam Society of Baltimore.
But Cardin is on record saying attacks against Israel must end first.
“And then I think you can really talk about peace,” he said.
Marylanders engaged in the letter campaign are also contacting Senator Barbara Mikulski.
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